Saturday, August 29, 2009

Girls' dress Farbenmix Celina

The dress is done. It's cute (in my opinion), it was fun to make, and my daughter's only comment was "Where's my kitty ("Hello Kitty") application?"

Kids! Although I must admit a large part of sewing for my daughter is for my gratification, so she ought to be entitled to her own, different opinion.
On the other hand, she did not want to leave the dress at her grandmother's (who asked when witnessing her lukewarm response "Oh, can I keep it and wear it tomorrow then?"), so there's hope!
The Farbenmix pattern was, as I said, a joy to trace, cut and sew; it went together very well, the instructions on the envelope were at least Burda quality, and they have more detailed instructions on their website, which I didn't refer to.
The bear, as always, were the closures, in this case the buttonholes. I hardly ever mind sewing with an old, non brand machine, but I really miss an automatic buttonholer.
Or access to buttonhole makers as in NYC. For now, I'll keep practising on kids' clothes (and envying Lindsay); if I follow my tentative plan of making a coat this fall, I'd better learn to make bound buttonholes, though!
I'm off to finetune my fall sewing plans, shift around some fabric and patterns, and dream!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Warm-up sewing...

... or:

Yet another excuse to sew little girl dresses!

Having made up a comprehensive fall sewing plan (oh how I love planning!), I didn't know where to start. Before my mojo leaves me, or my Rostock purchases go to the bottom of the pile, I decided to start on the "Celine" dress.

And I fell in love. Not with the dress (yet); so far I've only traced the pattern, cut it out and zigzagged the pieces.
No, I'm in love with the pattern. With the single garment pattern. With the pattern that can be traced in mere minutes, since the pattern pieces are drawn singly, side by side, and don't have to be hunted for with lots of light, good glasses, and strong expletives on a sheet with hundreds of intersecting lines.
Now this may be what a classic sewing pattern looks like, so excuse my naive enthusiasm. It may be what thousands of sewers sew with every day. It's something I've never seen (out of the envelope), nor used, so far.
I'm in love with a pattern. Is this my future? No more Burdas and Ottobres, no more "I could sew 50 garments a month from my sewing magazines without having to buy a single overpriced pattern"? Less is more?
Oh, but as I said, I love my planning. And nothing fuels my sewing dreams as well as a fresh Burda or Ottobre issue. The possibilities! But, dear Burda and Ottobre, I may cheat on you from time to time now.
Here's to little girl dresses! And single patterns!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fabric and more...

... is an apt title for my vacation purchases, as well as the little shop where I made them. Online, dreaming instead of sewing, I found Mira's blog and discovered she has a little shop in Rostock, which was close to our holiday destination.

Mira's shop is a sewing mother's dream come true; click on the link to see lots of pictures. It's like a candy store in there, with a small but choice selection of the prettiest children's fabrics, borders, patterns and ready-made clothes from these ingedients. I particularly enjoyed my visit there because, while these fabrics etc. are very popular and widely available on the internet, I had never seen them in a brick-and-mortar store, only sometimes at fabric markets, and it's so much better to see and touch fabric before buying it! (And she has a playroom. And comfortable chairs for waiting, DH assures me.)

Isn't the fabric on top the cutest? It's by Westfalenstoffe, a company that produces their (mostly all-cotton) fabrics in Germany, and adheres to strict guidelines for pesticides and such. Costly, but worth it!

Mira also convinced me to broaden my horizons and try a pattern by the small, independent pattern company Farbenmix. I have read a lot of great reviews of their patterns online, but having sewn from magazines since my teens, I saw no need to change this - until I saw Mira's version of the Celina dress, which I plan to make from the flowered and teal corduroy. You may recognize the name Farbenmix from the cute ribbons I've been using, e.g. in the bag from my last post.

I haven't sewn a stitch since returning home. Today is the hottest day of the year, so I'm sitting inside eating ice cream. Am I turning into one of those grumpy old women who don't like that much sun, warmth, or for that matter, summer?! Fall seems so much more productive to me!

Instead of sewing, I have organized my fabrics and started a tentative fall sewing plan. I love planning. As for the following through... We'll see!

Monday, August 17, 2009

The bag

So I finished the bag.
I may not have given it my all (other than all my speed), but it held up well to being carried for 14 days, stuffed full, all the time, everywhere. It also proved the perfect format; large enough to carry the necessities (and then some), but not so big it becomes unwieldy or too heavy.

I drafted it myself; length and width in magazine size (gotta have fashion magazines!) plus 2 inches, and about 4 inches deep.
I interlined it with fleece from an IKEA blanket bought for this pupose. The bottom is stabilized with stiff (pelmet?) iron-on interfacing, and the handles with a layer of fleece and some topstitching. I inserted a regular dress zipper because, um, that's what I had!
Finally, I added two large pockets on the outside, one large and three small ones on the inside, and a matryoshka key chain.
Oh yes, and the matryoshka applique I can't seem to live without these days.

It may be a very colorful and playful bag for a grown woman, and I'm not usually one for juvenile fashions, but the colors make me happy, and I like to carry something my kids have fun with, too. So this is, for the time being, my official mommy bag. (Aren't I glad to be rid of diaper bags!)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Hello again!

I'm back! We had lots of sun, swimming in the Baltic sea, watching sailboats and cruise ships, and, yes, also some fabric shopping. In short, bliss!

I also finished the bag and discovered a new kiddie couture pattern, so I have a few things to share with you in the next days. For today, I finish with a few pictures of our vacation - and of our homesewn holiday wardrobe!


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